Faculty Profile

Mara Donaldson

Professor of Religion (1990)

Contact Information


East College Room 207


Her teaching focuses on contemporary religious thought, especially feminist and liberation theologies, and religion and art, including contemporary fantasy literature, film, and popular culture.


  • B.A., Wilson College, 1971
  • M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1974
  • Ph.D., Emory University, 1984

2013-2014 Academic Year

Fall 2013

ENST 111 Environment, Culture & Values
A study of the effects of scientific, religious, and philosophical values on human attitudes toward the environment and how these attitudes may affect our way of life. By focusing on a particular current topic, and by subjecting the basis of our behavior in regard to that topic to careful criticism, alternative models of behavior are considered together with changes in lifestyle and consciousness that these may involve. This course fulfills the Division I.a. distribution requirement.

RELG 214 Hist of Christ.: Reform/Modern
The course concentrates on the emergence of the Protestant tradition in the 16th century and the Catholic response. Considers the impact of the Enlightenment on both Protestant and Catholic self-understanding.

RELG 318 Care of the Soul
This course explores the contemporary synthesis between religion and psychology, described by Thomas Moore as "care of the soul." We will examine the concept of "soul" in it's classical sense and follow the evolution of "soul" into Western preoccupations with the "self," "idenitity," and "a meaningful life". The methodological emphasis will be on the work of CJ Jung and Joseph Campbell.

RELG 550 Independent Research

Spring 2014

RELG 110 Religion and Modern Culture
Drawing upon popular examples from film, drama, and narrative, as well as critical essays, the course explores both the religious dimensions of modern culture myth, sacred space and time, nature spirituality and the cultural contexts of contemporary theologies gender, race, economics. This course fulfills the DIV I.a. distribution requirement and U.S. Diversity graduation requirement.

RELG 211 Religion and Fantasy
An exploration of the religious and mythological dimensions of traditional and modern fantasy literature. Our explorations will be guided by three interdependent themes: the nature of the divine, the nature of the human, and the nature of the moral life.

RELG 390 Interpreting Religion
An advanced introduction to some fundamental issues of theory and method in the academic study of religion. Selected religious phenomena will be examined using the perspectives such as those of the history of religions, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philology, philosophy, and theology. Emphasis will be placed upon methods of research and styles of writing in the study of religion. This course fulfills the WR graduation requirement.